Plastic pollution is a global challenge and formulating sustainable solutions to this wicked problem requires collaboration across sectors and traditional disciplinary boundaries.In the wake of Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 which brought the issue to public and policy attention through high profile images of charismatic wildlife entangled in plastic waste, plastic pollution has become associated with marine pollution (SDG14). The extent of plastic pollution on land (SDG15) and air is currently being quantified and raises concerns about how the ubiquity of plastic items, plastic debris and particles in our daily lives may in turn impact human health (SDG3). Yet, plastic is a useful, versatile, cheap material, with many beneficial applications, such as in packaging extending food shelf life and reducing its loss (and therefore contributing to food security, SDG2), medical equipment for protection as in the current Covid-19 pandemic (SDG3), and construction sector as an insulating material saving energy and associated carbon emissions.
Identifying the trade-offs between deleterious impacts and benefits, and uncovering sustainable solutions requires engaging with a diversity of actors and stakeholders including industry, policy - makers and consumers (SDG12, SDG17).
The main objectives of SPlasH group are:
- to attract research income through successfully applying for resources and funding (e.g., UKRI, Newton Fund, GCRF)
- to develop/evolve/employ cutting edge methodological tools to explore the challenge of plastic production-consumption-management
- to engage with policy makers in communicating and shaping research
- to establish high quality international academic partnerships
- to establish high quality industry partnerships
- to engage our student community in the challenge of plastic production-consumption- management and plastic pollution through research informed teaching and related student experience activities.